Origin of ethics
synonym study for ethics
Words nearby ethics
MORE ABOUT ETHICS
What are ethics?
Ethics are a system of moral principles or rules that say what is and is not acceptable.
Generally speaking, ethics refer to the rules or code of conduct that people use to determine when an action is acceptable or not. Often, a person’s ethics are based on the rules of their society, such as laws or religious teachings. A society’s ethics might say that it is wrong to steal from someone else, for example.
You may have your own ethics that are different from the society or community you live in. For example, you may move from a country where owning a gun is legal to one where it is not. In this case, your personal ethics (your belief that owning a gun is okay) may contradict the ethics of the country you now live in.
In philosophy, the word ethics is used to mean the study of what makes a person decide what is right and wrong. Philosophers often use the word morality to mean the same thing.
Outside of philosophy, though, we consider ethics and morals to be two different sets of values. Generally speaking, the difference between the two is that ethics are what a community considers to be right and wrong, and morals are what an individual considers to be good and bad or evil.
Why is ethics important?
The first records of the term ethics come from around 1400. It ultimately comes from the Greek éthikos, which combines the word êthos, meaning “custom,” and –ikos, which forms adjectives. The ethics of many societies are often determined by their customs.
It is understandable if you are still confused by the difference between ethics and morals. The two concepts are often closely interconnected, and ethics are often motivated by the morals that a large number of people have. Many laws, seen as the ethics of society, forbid things that people consider to be a serious violation of morals, such as killing another person.
However, people can have different morals and ethics from each other or their society. For example, the law might allow a farmer to do whatever he wants to the animals he owns. So, a farmer might decide to kill most of his male chicks because he only wants female chickens to lay eggs that he can sell. The farmer is both not violating the ethics of the society he is a part of and he is not violating his own ethics or morals because he personally believes there is nothing wrong about culling male chicks. But many animal rights activists would declare that this practice is morally wrong. You’ll find that people often passionately debate about what should and should not be considered acceptable according to ethics.
Did you know … ?
Sometimes, the ethics of a profession are in conflict with the ethics of society. Journalists will often protect the identity of their sources even under threat of being sent to prison because they refuse to violate the ethics of journalism.
What are real-life examples of ethics?
To help you out, we have a video explaining the difference between ethics and morals:
The word ethics is often used in instances where a person or even a whole society had an ethical dilemma or violated ethics.
I hope you're all happy after sharing a dead child's photo. A few RTs are probably worth the violation of ethics.
— Mahwash Ajaz 🇵🇰 (@mahwashajaz_) January 9, 2018
It really goes against my ethics to simply 'design' something because that's the way they want it when it's clearly wrong.
— Cerven Cotter (@cervencotter) March 7, 2013
My ethics professor LOVES arguing with us bro
— Christyn (@CogginsChristyn) October 5, 2020
What other words are related to ethics?
True or False?
Ethics are the rules that define what is right and wrong.
How to use ethics in a sentence
Will Huntsberry reports that as part of her probation she’ll also be required to take a medical ethics course.Morning Report: Hotel Workers Want Their Jobs Back|Voice of San Diego|September 8, 2020|Voice of San Diego
It is yet another potential violation of the city’s ethics rules.
Barrios stressed in the new filing that “no conflicts arose” during his period of overlapping employment, but he could have run afoul of the city’s ethics ordinance anyway.
This is, of course, nothing new, but it has highlighted the need for international standards on ethics and reporting mechanisms that are flexible but responsive.Why South Asia’s COVID-19 Numbers Are So Low (For Now)|Puja Changoiwala|June 23, 2020|Quanta Magazine
Anya’s been thinking a lot about Disney princesses lately because of a writing project she had in school, for ethics class.Does Hollywood Still Have a Princess Problem? (Ep. 394)|Stephen J. Dubner|October 24, 2019|Freakonomics
Fridays there is ethics and law of war training and instruction.Pentagon Insider on New Plan to Fight ISIS: ‘Of Course It’s Not Enough’|Nancy A. Youssef|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Tom Rust, a spokesman for the House Ethics Committee, declined to comment to The Daily Beast.
Still, his conviction will restart a House Ethics Committee investigation into his actions.
Whether or not Hippocrates ever actually said “First, do no harm,” the axiom is central to medical ethics.
Arthur Caplan is the director of medical ethics for NYU Langone Medical Center.U.K. Courts Grant Mother Right to End Her 12-Year-Old Disabled Daughter’s Life|Elizabeth Picciuto|November 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
She was just as honestintentionallyas she could be, but the ethics of business dealing were not quite straight in her mind.The Girls of Central High on the Stage|Gertrude W. Morrison
The religion of Rome may not have advanced the theology or the ethics of the world, but it made and held together a nation.The Religion of Ancient Rome|Cyril Bailey
Your religion does not make it—its ethics are too weak, its theories too unsound, its transcendentalism is too thin.God and my Neighbour|Robert Blatchford
Impatiently I smother the accusing whisper of my conscience, "By the right of revolutionary ethics."Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist|Alexander Berkman
Ethics, in short, may be regarded as composed of unlike halves, which unite centrally to form a whole.Man And His Ancestor|Charles Morris
British Dictionary definitions for ethics
Derived forms of ethicsethicist, noun
Cultural definitions for ethics
The branch of philosophy that deals with morality. Ethics is concerned with distinguishing between good and evil in the world, between right and wrong human actions, and between virtuous and nonvirtuous characteristics of people.